Extreme PowerBooks: 45 to Zero MPH in One Second

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive


An Archive Go2Mac reader sends this along:

My G3 PowerBook(FireWire) recently took a tumble which may qualify for the extreme PowerBook page, as detailed below.

I frequently teach classes at the local senior center, helping seniors feel more comfortable with their computers (preferably Macs, of course!), learning the basics of Web surfing, email and so on. After one such class finished early, I volunteered to give a lady a ride home rather than have her wait for the county’s handicapped bus to come. In the resulting change of routine I put my laptop bag in my trunk but somehow left my PowerBook on the roof of my car.

After about three miles at 40-45 mph I heard a fluttering of papers and looked to see something black flying off of my car, onto the pavement and then tumble end-over-end into various pieces. Having completely forgotten about the PowerBook (obviously) I pulled over, only then realizing what had happened.

My PowerBook had fallen off of my car onto the pavement at around 45 mph, hit on the upper right corner and largely exploded before skidding to a stop in the middle of the road. Although badly scraped, no one had run over it yet, so I retrieved the main body, battery, bay, rear port door and so on, putting it in my back seat until after I dropped off my passenger.

When I first got the ‘Book home it did not boot, but the screen was undamaged. The keyboard’s upper right corner had completely bent under the case (losing several keys in the process) and the bottom case was torn almost in half, with the hard drive cage hanging by its cable. I disassembled the good book, reseated the daughter card, crossed my fingers and tried again. To my grateful astonishment the machine booted and seems to be working fine after 15-20 hours of more ordinary use. Other than missing keys and torn bottom case, the rear door doesn’t quite fit and the right bay will not eject normally. For reasons obvious I’m not moving it much until I replace lower case and keyboard, but my little buddy seems to have survived with only a few minor scrapes, earning himself a new name: “Lucky.”

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